Radiation and chemotherapy resistance, cellular and DNA response to radiation, biologic markers for therapeutic response, molecular profiling, role of tumor microenvironment in therapy response, mouse modeling, human tissure research.
Dr. Williams’ laboratory focuses on DNA damage response pathways and novel mechanisms of radiosensitization. In particular, the lab is focused on the molecular biology and genetics that govern response to treatment, particularly with chemotherapy and radiation. Knowledge of the genetics and molecular biology prior to treatment, and the manner in which activation of these biologic pathways changes after treatment, could potentially lead to identification of predictive biomarkers of response to therapy or identify novel resistance pathways that could then be targeted to improve cancer control. Thus, the goals of current projects in the lab are to identify novel biomarkers of response to radiation in combination with other therapies, including chemotherapy or molecularly-targeted agents.
Active research projects include:
- Investigating oncogene-mediated radioresistance (e.g. KRAS, BRAF)
- Studying caveolins and caveolae-related endocytosis and their importance with regards to tumor progression and response to therapy
- Rational development of novel therapeutic combinations of molecularly-targeted agents and radiation
- Molecular profiling of GI and lung malignancies using systems-based approaches (e.g. miRNA, mRNA expression, methylation)
- Novel DNA repair pathways and their relationship to cancer development and therapeutic response.
Research is centered in the study of gastrointestinal (pancreatic, esophago- gastric, colorectal, and hepatobiliary) and thoracic (non-small cell lung cancer) malignancies using pre-clinical modeling, with the goal of translating findings from pre-clinical studies to clinical trials to improve therapeutic efficacy or develop prognostic/predictive signatures. Finally, additional laboratory interests include the study of caveolar-mediated endocytosis in tumor cells, the utilization of human tissues to perform molecular profiling to identify novel signatures that predict clinical outcomes and response or novel targets, and studying the role of stroma in radiation response.
Terence Williams, MD, PhD – Principal Investigator
Changxian Shen, PhD – Research Scientist
Linlin Yang, MD – Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate
Adam Wolfe, MD, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow/Resident, Radiation Oncology
Ryan Robb, BS – Lab Manager/Research Assistant
Duan-Liang “Bruce” Shyu, MS – Research Assistant
Sergio Corrales-Guerrero, MS – Graduate Student
Rebecca Packard, BS – Research Assistant
Andrew Hu, BS – Research Assistant
Ahmad Hegazi – Undergraduate Student
Megan Halloran – Undergraduate Student
Nikhil Sebastian, MD – Resident, Radiation Oncology
Eric Miller, MD, PhD – Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology